Historically, Americans who didn't attend college (or even those that didn't complete high school) had an abundant job market available to them. Working as farmers or factory workers, unskilled laborers still made less than skilled workers, but they were able to make a decent living and, during many times in history, actually secure a middle-class lifestyle for their families.
With all the talk about empowerment and female leadership, we also know that the barriers to advancement are very real. For every step forward, gender bias and situational barriers continue to prevent deserving women from receiving recognition and achieving positions of leadership. But, instead of thinking of this situation as a "glass ceiling," which indicates a barrier that is impossible to break through, why not consider a different paradigm – a leaky pipe?
Times change, and our understanding of the past changes right along with it. A great many things were different, say, 100 years ago, in America. For starters, women couldn't vote. In fact, the oppression -- marginalization is way too weak a word -- of women and minority groups was so abundant 100 years ago that there is hardly a comparison between their experience then and now. So, it makes sense that we see certain things a little differently today that we did in the past.
We've all heard about the gender wage gap, and experts love to wax eloquent on the reasons why women make less money. Some say that women tend to choose occupations that pay less, others blame women for taking time out to raise children. There is plenty of evidence pointing to another reason, however: research shows that women make less money than men for performing the same work because of societal expectations of behavior for men and women. Women likely fall victim to these expectations even if we don't realize it; we can counter these deep-seated cultural norms to our own benefit.
Women are less likely than men to go into STEM careers, but it's not from a lack of initial interest or talent. Somewhere along the way, girls and women are turning in other directions, with the result that only about 18 percent of women earn degrees in computer science and 19 percent earn engineering degrees, according to the National Girls Collaborative Project.
This year's Super Bowl commercials were all about the dad-vertising. Social media spheres were in a complete uproar over the latest string of ads featuring dads who were caring for their children -- swimming, potty-training, brushing hair, comforting, and hugging. There wasn't a dry eye in the house, according to more than one post.
If anything good came out of the Sony email hack, it's that Charlize Theron put Sony on blast for paying her $10 million less than her male co-star, Chris Hemsworth, for their upcoming film, The Huntsman. Let’s take a look at how Theron’s ballsy move (pun very much intended) is encouraging women to quit the coy act and fight for their right to earn equal pay in their careers.
It’s no secret that there is a lack of women in tech. Recent data released by companies such as Twitter and Facebook show huge disparity between the number of men and women working for tech companies. While this is obviously a problem in itself, but a larger issue is looming. Women who are working in tech are leaving the industry, and never coming back -- largely because of the culture that the industry has created.
It’s no secret that women are severely outnumbered in tech companies in Silicon Valley. Recent reports indicate that women at both small and large employers such as Facebook and Google are barely represented, indicating this is a concerning trend in the technology sector. However, there are several other companies at which women are gaining ground, representing larger percentages of the workforce.
There's good news if you’re a woman or minority in tech and work for Google. The tech giant is in the process of "debugging inclusion," which is a geeky way to say that the company is trying to improve their numbers where women and minorities in tech are concerned.